Robert Lorne Richardson
In answer to my hon. friend from Lothbiniere, I cannot give the exact amount of the several subsidies offhand, but I have the information in my desk and am willing to go into details with him.
I certainly do not overstate the facts; they are as I have told you. I freely acknowledge that the Canadian Pacific railway is a well managed and a courteously conducted railway to-day. But in the old days they were very domineering and dictatorial to the people of the West, and they swaggered about that country just as if they owned it. When the so-called liberal Government got into office they undertook to solve the transportation problem by supplying a com-
peting railroad. Now, competition is not desirable even if it is possible; and it is not possible even if it is desirable. If the Canadian Pacific had been taken over by the country as it should have been-because I believe in public ownership if properly administered; there is no reason why we cannot get men to run transportation companies as well as private corporations can-I repeat that if the Canadian Pacific had been taken over by the people in the early days, properly operated and branch lines built to accommodate the settlers where necessary, it would have developed that country and would have furnished the people of the West with the railroad transportation that was necessary, instead of which, as my hon. friend knows and as the members of this House know, subventions in land were given to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and to other railway companies, and those lands were held by those companies in order that they might profit by the unearned increment, by the settlement in that country of a large population. Those companies did not sell their land holdings, and the result was that the settlers were obliged to move off ten, fifteen and twenty miles from the railway lines, instead of occupying these rich railway lands that were available for settlement. The result was that the people there almost reached a state of armed rebellion in one case, for they did not want that kind of policy. Thereupon the friends of my hon. friend undertook to "solve" the question, and they talked with indescribable foolishness about the whole proposition. They said: "If you endow another great railway corporation and let them into the West, then that will help solve the problem." The outcome of that talk was the contract with the Grand Trunk for the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and the Transcontinental. While I think of it, let me tell my hon. friend this- fact-and I want him 'to put a pin in the argument and just keep it there, because it is the crux of the whole thing-it was not the Government of Canada that forced the Grand Trunk to build the Grand Trunk Pacific or the Transcontinental; the Government-of Canada had nothing to do with it: it was the directors of the Grand Trunk, lead by the late Charles M. Hays, the Grand Trunk president, that forced this contract on the people, and if by virtue of this contract we find this state of chaos at the present time, and that the Grand Trunk has piled up this enormous debt on the coun-
try, why should we come to the rescue ot the Grand Trunk?
Subtopic: BILL TO APPOINT A RECEIVER